The latest hot trend across the globe is going green. This isn’t just for social media influencers, but any business who possesses concern for the environment, while wishing to gain good PR at the same time.
Well-known businesses are making an active step to reduce negative impacts on the planet and commercial cleaning in London is paving the way to make huge changes. How an office is cleaned and maintained is often not one of the first elements that is considered when making the switch to a green office, but it is one of the most important.
It isn’t just about reducing paper wastage, installing recycling bins and encouraging staff to walk or cycle to work. Green cleaning is one of the biggest and best practices within the professional world for making a constructive change.
But what needs to be done to make these changes and why are they so important? Below we talk about everything needed to know when it comes to green office cleaning.
The majority of conventional cleaning products used in workplaces are full of harsh, toxic chemicals.
When these products are used, they need to be rinsed away somehow. Almost all of these will be flushed down toilets and washed down sinks.
This water is then processed in water waste plants, these facilities will do everything within their power to remove chemicals, but this isn’t always possible.
These toxins end up within natural environments, such as rivers and streams. Marine wildlife consumes these in varying quantities. This affects breeding, growth, development and can even cause death.
Even for those who are not conscious of wildlife, they can still feel the impact. A large portion of this wildlife population ends up within our food supplies, meaning next time you are eating seafood, you could also be ingesting these chemicals.
Chemical cleaners are also a contributing factor to climate change. Aerosoles contain hydrocarbons and gasses that are directly linked to damage on the ozone layer.
Humans can, sometimes fatally, be directly impacted by the use of common chemical cleaners. Monoethanolamine is an ingredient often found in laundry detergents, furniture polish and other cleaning products.
They often come with no warning labels but if staff or visitors suffer from any breathing-related condition, such as asthma or emphysema, this ingredient can cause inflammation and attacks, which can even be fatal.
As a result, they are usually banned within schools, hospitals and nurseries, but there is no workplace regulation in place to protect working professionals.
The packaging is one of the worst culprits within the plastic world, harsh chemicals require thicker, stronger plastic to prevent corrosion in transit. In turn, this means they are rarely recyclable and due to the content, it is not advised to reuse them either.
The simplest answer is to seek contract cleaners that provide a green cleaning solution. If this is not available or not cost-effective, changes can still be made.
Firstly, seek out a brand or supplier of cleaning products who produce natural and safe cleaning products.
Investing in reusable bottles for spraying or storage means your plastic waste can be significantly reduced. Refillable products use considerably less packaging, not only reducing landfill but also space within the delivery vehicle, reducing carbon emissions.
Home-made cleaning products can be made with common household ingredients. For example, ½ cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water mixed within a spray bottle creates an incredibly effective all-purpose cleaning solution.
Green cleaning isn’t just about the solutions used, it encompasses everything from hand towels in washrooms to electronics used.
Switch out your energy-sucking vacuum for a more energy-efficient one, remove disposable hand towels for washable ones.
Kitchen sponges are an item that is going to have a short lifespan, but they can still be green. Avoid plastic sponges and opt for natural ones, this means they will degrade quickly and not remain in the landfill for numerous years.
It is true that the initial purchase of green cleaning products will be more costly than conventional cleaners, but as these can be re-used numerous times, it will actually save more money in the long run.
There is still some reluctance across the world for making the switch to green cleaning. This is due to common misconceptions that are preventing people from changing.
False information has reached most of us that natural cleaning products don’t work as well as chemical cleaners. It is true that you need a little more of the products to create a lather and some extra elbow grease, but you can still achieve the same results, if not better.
It is forgivable to believe that to kill germs and bacteria, especially during cold and flu season, that harsh, toxic chemicals are the only thing that can prevent us from getting ill.
Actually, vinegar is just one of the natural ingredients that have been proven to kill these germs. However, there is not yet enough research into if it can kill off the coronavirus, so if there has been a case in your office, it is best to stick to bleach and other cleaning products that are proven to do this.
Another similar misconception is that products need to smell a certain way to provide a good result. These scents are added during the manufacturing process and actually serve no practical purpose other than to please the nostrils.
Natural and homemade products can be given these scents as well, with a few drops of a chosen essential oil.
If more businesses around the world made the switch to green cleaning products and increased demand, there would be more pressure on manufacturers to make a change, leading to a cleaner planet at work and within our environment.